Evaluation for Kidney Transplant | Transplant | Loyola Medicine

Evaluation for Kidney Transplant

Comprehensive Evaluation and Care for Potential Kidney Transplant Recipients

Loyola Medicine provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients with end-stage kidney disease whose best medical option is a kidney transplant. We understand that if you are considering a kidney transplant, you have endured much because of your condition and want your life to return to normal. 

During your evaluation for kidney transplant, Loyola’s expert transplant team will provide compassionate care and the most advanced treatment options available.

Why Choose Loyola for Kidney Transplant?

Loyola’s nephrologists are highly skilled and take on the most challenging cases. If you’ve been turned down by another transplant center, consider getting a second opinion at Loyola. Our Transplant Center has the medical expertise and technological resources to care for the most difficult conditions, whether you need a kidney or a multi-organ transplant. 

While you wait for a kidney, you may face other health challenges from kidney disease, such as sleep problems, osteoporosis or heart disease. Loyola’s subspecialists provide expertise in a wide range of health conditions and your transplant team will facilitate a referral to an appropriate specialist if needed.

Since 1971, Loyola’s kidney program has provided a full range of services for patients of all ages with kidney failure, including transplants and dialysis. Our As a world-class academic medical center, our doctors perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and leading-edge medical care. Loyola’s skilled and compassionate nurse coordinators work closely with transplant patients, providing support and answering your questions—not only before surgery, but afterward as well.

What to Expect During Kidney Transplant Evaluation

If your nephrologist has recommended a kidney transplant as your best medical option, we understand that you will have many questions. A kidney transplant evaluation is extensive. First, you will attend an educational class to give you an overview of the process. The evaluation requires many tests to determine your need and it is individualized. Loyola’s transplant team will guide you through the process, informing you of test results and next steps.

Depending on your condition, your doctor may require these tests, among others:

  • Dental exam
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) of the brain
  • Mammogram
  • Metabolic panel test
  • Pap smear
  • Tissue typing tests
  • Vascular studies

Some conditions that may be barriers to transplant surgery include but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse problems
  • Certain cancers
  • Inability to comply with treatment, such as following a strict immunosuppressive drug regimen
  • Lack of social and financial support
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe heart or vascular disease
  • Uncontrolled or untreatable mental illness

Once the results of your tests are in, you will meet with your entire medical team—which includes your nephrologist, your surgeon, nurse coordinators, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, clinical pharmacists, dietitians, financial coordinators will meet to discuss your case. The Medical Review Board then will decide whether you are a good candidate for a kidney transplant.

If the board approves you for transplant, you will be placed on the national waiting list with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for a donor organ. You can only go into NKR if you have a living donor.

Having a living donor can reduce your wait time. This person could be a friend or relative, or even someone you don’t know, an altruistic donor. Learn more about Loyola’s living kidney donor program.

Waiting for a donor can be a stressful time, especially because the wait time is unknown. Your nurse coordinators and nephrologist will work closely with you to make sure you are thoroughly prepared for every step in the process.

You will continue your individualized care plan and dietary guidelines. It is extremely important during this time that you keep your scheduled appointments with your medical team and keep them informed of any changes in address, insurance, phone number or vacation plans. Your transplant team must be able to reach you within a moment’s notice if your donor kidney becomes available.

To learn more, read our kidney transplant frequently asked questions, or call us at 708-327-4TXP/708-327-4897.